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The Health Star Rating hits 10000!

18 / 09 / 18

At the end of March 2018, more than 10,300 products displayed the HSR system in Australian supermarkets—a 23 per cent increase since the previous collection period (August–September 2017). In total, 165 retailers/ manufacturers have adopted the HSR system in Australia. In New Zealand, the HSR system is also appearing on a growing number of products with over 3,900 displaying the rating during the January–March 2018 quarter.

The National Heart Foundation of Australia monitors and tracks consumer awareness, attitudes and interaction with the HSR system in Australia. Key results from the most recent report shows that:

  • the HSR is the most well recognised food logo when prompted (84%)
  • majority of respondents believe the system is easy to use (76%), understand (76%), and makes choosing food easier (63%)
  • most agree that the HSR system helps them identify healthier options within the same category (71%).

Visit the HSR website for more detailed results on monitoring of the HSR system in Australia.

Research undertaken by The George Institute for Global Health has found that the HSR system provides good alignment with the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Read the full research paper in Nutrients.

The ‘as prepared’ decision

You may recall concerns over Milo powder receiving a higher HSR because it was based on Milo mixed with skim milk (‘as prepared’) rather than the powder ‘as sold’. This issue attracted criticism and prompted Milo to remove the HSR from packaging as a result.

The HSR Advisory Committee has been reappraising the form of the food (‘as prepared’) rules of the HSR system. Following stakeholder workshops on options to resolve concerns raised with these rules, a final decision was referred to Australian and New Zealand Ministers with responsibility for food regulation.

On 29 June 2018, Ministers agreed to limit the application of the HSR system to the product ‘as sold’. That is, the HSR should be calculated and displayed based on the product as it appears on the shelf. Specific exemptions will apply for products which must be rehydrated with water, diluted with water, drained of water or brine. This decision will be implemented alongside and in the context of the recommendations of the five year review.

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